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How to Safely Dispose of Compact Fluorescent Lights or CFLs

Casa Verde: Keeping Safe With CFLs


The Sierra Club recently updated its website with some very helpful green tips, and there are some fantastic suggestions for going green at home. One tip that caught my eye was the safety considerations when disposing of CFLs. Since switching from incandescent light bulbs to CFLs is a great way to save energy and money, I heartily recommend making the switch (as does the Sierra Club). However, since CFL bulbs contain a small amount of mercury, it's important to dispose of them properly.

Here are the Sierra Club's tips for dealing with CFLs:

  • Don't throw CFLs in the trash; recycle them instead. Some manufacturers, like Osram Sylvania, accept CFLs for recycling. Retailers like Ikea and Home Depot also have take-back programs. Find your nearest CFL recycling center at RecycleABulb.com or consult the EPA's directory of recycling facilities.
  • If a bulb breaks, open a window and leave the room for at least 15 minutes. Keep children and pets away from the broken bulb.

Want to learn more? Check out this post to get additional CFL information.

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